A life interruption

I read a post yesterday about a lady that keeps a dozen works in progress because she gets bored and puts them down and works on something else for a while and then picks the earlier one up again.  They aren’t unfinished objects; she just has a lot of works in progress.

That’s me.

So, it should come as no surprise that yesterday, I put all my other priority projects aside and decided to make a shirt.


Now, making shirts just before vacation is kind of a tradition for me.  The first year, I made shirts for all of us and Sydney never wore hers.  The second year, I made shirts for me and Rob and I bet we haven’t worn them but once each.  THEN I learned the lesson about lightweight interfacing and now I make shirts that are not so stiff. 

I’m using my pattern from 1985.


Technically, I only use the instructions from this pattern because all the pattern pieces have been redrawn and a muslin was made that perfectly fits me, including my slightly rounded shoulders.  Each time, I try on the muslin for fit and it still fit yesterday, so I cut the shirt out and started putting it together.  The instructions are easy and straightforward and I can knock out a shirt in pretty good time, especially if I’m willing to serge the side and shoulder seams, which I’ll probably do here because it’s quick and gives a good finished edge. 

I love pea green linen.  Rob and I both do.  We both have pea green linen shirts and have to make sure we don’t wear them at the same time.  Mine is so old that it’s slightly snug and has faded to more of a yellow green than a pretty one…it didn’t go olive like I wish it had.  Anyway, when I found this very lightweight, linen feel, 100% cotton fabric at JoAnn’s for $2 a yard, I realized I needed a new pea green linen shirt and snatched it up.  I wish I’d bought the rest of the bolt and used it in quilting.  But, I didn’t, so there. 

Anyway, I’m about half way there and hope to finish tomorrow.  And, then maybe I’ll get back to one of my other big projects.  The borders I recently made for the hexie quilt are attached and it’s time to start cutting for the next set so I can keep that portable project going through some upcoming travel. 

Be well.  Lane


A good day at Casa de Lane

You can imagine that yesterday was a good day, full of good feelings and hearty discussions around the dinner table around here.  I could hardly work for reading the news…and the reactions to the news.  The supreme court declared DOMA unconstitutional and sent Prop 8 back to the state and said something very important; if you’re not affected by it, you can’t just keep challenging what you don’t like.  It wasn’t all we hoped for, but it was good progress.

There was a good bit of listening intently around the television around here.  And some calling of people who said stupid things by impolite names because they expressed their sour grapes (not that I wouldn’t have been expressing my own sour grapes if things had gone differently).  I’m not quite sure how Sydney feels.  Last night, she was all about absorbing what was going on around her and we answered her questions as best we could.  Maybe today, I’ll hear what she took from that. 

I saw a tweet yesterday that went something like this; scotus just approved gay marriage, my marriage not crumbling so far, should probably check with wife to confirm, wife says all okay.  Thanks, unknown guy.  That just about sums it up for me.

Here I am, with a good man, raising a child, living in a neighborhood where EVERYbody knows our story and we aren’t afraid someone will paint a slur on the garage door.  Waiting until someone gets married in New York, which doesn’t require residence, and comes to TX and challenges the state to accept it, or deny the validity of all marriages performed in NY.  It will happen.  It won’t be me.  But, I’ll benefit from it.  And, I’ll celebrate that day, too.  Funny how what seemed so impossible in 1984 seems so possible just 30 years later.

What must my grandparents have thought of sports cars and tractors and transistor radios and color TV?  Of the fight for racial equality and the dedication to put a man on the moon? 
I wonder that times don’t change and people don’t change.  It’s just the topics of conversation and controversy that change.

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Take care.



More plants from this weekend.

I guess I wasn’t really paying attention.  These tiny plants in their 2 and 3 inch pots just kind of stacked up on us.  The prices were good and Sydney and I kind of went hog wild.

The very next day, we were shopping for pots and Sydney got hers in their pots and on display.

These are in her bathroom.


Lots of reds and purples.


That last one is in the window in her shower.

And, these are in her bedroom.



We recently also bought her a latch hook rug.  It’s just hit and miss finding things that she’ll do.  And, trying to keep her from getting discouraged or burning out.

We wouldn’t really pay for any pots on Sunday, because nothing was on sale and it was all deadly expensive.  But, walking the dog yesterday morning, I found a really cool plastic bowl in someone’s trash, and not being too proud to pull an aqua colored bowl out of the trash and carry it home, I made one of Syd’s chores for the day be to drill a hole in the bottom of it and plant my new houseplants in it.


And, I’m thinking that if we can’t find bowls in the garden centers, this is certainly a good compromise and maybe we should be shopping in the dollar store.

Everybody be well and have a great Wednesday.  Feels much later in the week.  But, it’s not.

Oh, and it was 102 degrees in Austin yesterday.  I’m feeling sorry for a friend in Dallas, where it’s supposed to hit 110 today.  Holy Moly Weather Guy!



A very fun weekend

We had the best time this weekend; all three of us, and believe me, the older the she-beast gets, the harder it can be for everyone to be joyful at the same time.

Just kidding.


Anyway, the plan was to get up and get our chores done and our friends were coming down and we were going antiquing and to a plant nursery in Geronimo and Seguin (sageeeen), TX. 

The antiquing was good.  Rob and I didn’t buy much, but what we bought was big.  Anyway, then we all went to the garden center and Sydney found a grouping of plants that are in a green/pink combination for her room and I found some things I want to group into a pot in the dining room and Rob found this daylily and some other plants that we’ll be sharing over the next few days as they find new homes.


Rob and I found a favorite "catch and release" antique.  That’s one that you think is really great, so you catch a picture, but you’d never bring home in a million years, so it's a release.  We didn’t even look at the price.  I’d only have paid if they’d been charging people to photograph it, which I couldn’t resist.  Plastic and laminate and a lightbulb in the logs to look like a glowing fire.


Look inside.  Phonograph, 8 track, AM/FM radio and a bar.


When you open the door, the bar light comes on.  This may have actually been the tackiest thing I’ve ever seen.  I ttakes me way back in time, even though I didn’t know people who had bars…at least I don’t remember any.

When we were leaving the house, I reminded Rob that we were on the lookout for a dining table, just putting it out there for the universe.  In the first store, we found one. 

This is our old table. 


This poor drop leaf was never meant to be used the way we used it and it didn’t hold up well.


We had sprung the hinge locks over the 6 years we’ve had Sydney and both ends drooped down and the poor thing was loose and it creaked.  We couldn’t all cut steak at the same time without spilling water.

We have the china cabinet and 6 chairs in this style, so we really only wanted a table. 


And, we found it.  It has two posts and each of those has three legs.  I really love Mahogany Duncan Phyfe style dining room furniture.

When we put it together, we moved the legs toward the center, so we could more easily fit four chairs under it.  There was a long discussion about how we could reconfigure 6 table legs with 4 chairs that each had 4 legs (22 legs total) and make them all fit under a 40x60 inch space.  Yikes!
We were very excited to get it, tho.  The seller owns the antique mall and was ready to bargain.  She had rented the space it was occupying to a new vendor that was moving in later that day, and the table didn’t have a price.  I went to the front and asked if she could help me with a price.  She asked me to describe the table and I started.  She finished for me and we agreed we were talking about the same table.  She told us about needing the space and that she was highly incented to sell it.  How about $100?  I couldn’t pay her fast enough in case she thought better of it.

Another one of my projects was to hang the new kitchen curtains that I made a week earlier.  These are the old curtains.  They have tea and coffee pots to go with the cups that are the valance.


I’m going to remake these into the new rod configuration at some point because I like the darker curtains for winter. 

Here are the new ones.  Two tiers of winding vines with gold and green leaves growing all over. 

I am seriously in love with the two tiered look.

(Sorry about my countertops.  I could wait till there are no dishes on either side of the sink; dirty or clean, but then you might never see my new curtains.)

This is what they look like in the preferred configuration.


I wanted something I could close the bottom of during the week, but I still wanted to open the whole thing on the weekend.  But, most of the time, I wanted to leave the top openso I can see out when I’m doing that endless stream of dishes.

Well, my photo in-box says that’s all I have pictures of today.  We had great fun visiting with our friends and having lunch in a small town.  We’ll definitely go back to that nursery.  It was terrific and the prices were great!  And, I got some sewing done and baked Rob a cake in appreciation for loading and unloading and putting together my table.  And, all too soon, it was over and we were back to the workweek.

My work project got pushed back on Friday.  I really need it to be final today and sent in. 

Make one more change.  I dare ya’.  Just try to change the spelling.  And, if you mention another comma, I’m gonna to put that comma…




Welcome to the first day of hell…uh, I mean summer.

It’s officially begun, and any day, the official temp could rise above a hundred and stay there for a couple of months.  I keep thinking how lucky we are, because in 2011, we’d already had 18 days above a hundred before summer started.  Hopefully, this drought is slowly ending, the same way it slowly began. 

Or, it’s climate change and we’re all doomed.

I might get to meet the lady that sent me the box of Sudie’s quilt scraps tomorrow.  I really need to know more about Sudie.  Anyway, here are four hand pieced mariner’s compass blocks.  They aren’t perfect, but they look perfect.  I will definitely find a way to use them, maybe in a four block quilt with these appliqued onto it.

I can’t pick a favorite.





As a reminder, I was gifted a box of “scraps” that has turned out to be a treasure chest.  I don’t know anything about the maker yet, but am loving her work, all done by hand.  I have one more quilt to show you, but it’s so special that I have to wait until it is ironed before I take pictures.  So, it will be a while because I can only iron before the sun comes up.

Of course, summer is the season for garden pictures.  My friend Kath posted pictures of her garden in England yesterday and we found we both have shasta daisies…except she said hers grow like wild flowers and mine have to be coddled and talked to.


A very deep red daylily.  This is it’s first year here.







I can’t wait for my friends to see it.  It’s preened and picked and there’s not a dead leaf or stick anywhere to be seen.  A very well groomed garden.  But, it’s too hot to keep this up.

Be well and have a great Friday.  Tomorrow is a shopping day at a large rural plant nursery and antique shops.




Progress and another Sudie quilt

Here is the hexagon so far.  At this point, I’m starting to recognize the size of it because progress comes so much more slowly and that feels discouraging, so I keep laying it out and looking at it and showing it off because if I don’t, I’m going to lose my excitement and I’m not ready for that yet.  It’s great finger work.


I’m going to skip a border and then make the one after that.  The border I skip is a spacer, where my repetition of the brown flowers changes, and I don’t know how many rows I’ll have to insert to make that transition yet.  I can’t plan it until I know how wide it needs to be, right?

Anyway, I’m thinking that three more borders, including the two described above is going to be about it for me on this one. Because my fingers are itching to get back to some sock knitting.  I am definitely in the mood.


I’m going to start with a repair.  Sydney’s dog chewed a big hole in two of my hand knitted socks.  This one, I only had to take apart back to the heel.  The other one is a total loss and will have to be remade.  THEN, if I’m still in the mood, I can start something new.  But, most likely, I’ll finish one and be out of the mood again.  That’s just me.

Okay, another Sudie quilt.  And, I apologize to Sudie for not ironing it before I took these photos.  But, honestly, I’m not going to iron it until I’m ready to do something with it.


This trip around the world quilt is hand pieced. 


The last two rows are pinned on, but not sewn on yet.  And, guess what…


These are the fabrics in the quilt, so if I was really ambitious, I could extend it to be a square…maybe.  I’d have to make some substitutions, but most of it would be there.  That seems to take something away from it though and I’d rather just finish her two rows and then quilt it.  I’d like to take my giant dahlia templates and trace them on it and quilt that into it.  It would be pretty quick and it would really meld down into the piecing.

Okay, leaving you with Shasta Daisies. 

Be well.  Lane




What’s under the needle today?

What is it about me that gets to the last border of a quilt and then puts it away for a couple of months before I can finish.  It’s so weird because I love finishes so much, but have some need to delay them.

This is the quilt I was working on when Syd had her surgery in early March.  I sewed diligently during her recovery, mostly because my machine was 10 feet from her bed and I could hear her if she moved.  But, I burned myself out I guess and haven’t worked on this since April. 


Oh, well.  The one thing I can be sure of is that this far in, I will finish it at some point.  But, a better question is what in the heck am I gonna do with that two inch outer border?  All I’ve thought of so far is a very small english ivy vine all through it.  I wouldn’t mind if this were the first project I brought to guild for show and tell.

I was going to show you another vintage quilt from Sudie’s box, but, I can’t get this cat off of it.


Hey, I’m not fighting with him unless I get something out of it.

He’s become very possessive of the things we don’t want him to lay on.  He is so desperate for attention and is resorting to some very funny behavior to get it.

(Of course, you can tell that he never gets any attention, right?)

Okay, real quick, pictures from the garden and then I have to go to work.  My project finishes on Friday.  My part is done.  All we’re doing now is waiting for testing to say it’s all okay.  I need my garden now more than ever.

Charlene’s Patio daylilies.  These are late bloomers and very, very red with a green throat.



And, my bougainvillea that I bought on Rob’s birthday.  It is a very delicate pink and I hesitated to give it the sun it wants because I thought it wouldn’t stand up.  But, it gets more sun and heat than anything in my yard and even in a coconut basket that doesn’t retain water, it looks great!


And, the echinacea (purple coneflower) just sets the pink in the bougainvillea off.


This weekend, friends who garden are coming to visit and are going to see the beds, so I’ve been in them every morning, doing a bit of this and a bit of that; moving something that wasn’t working or pulling weeds or cutting back the roses.  I can hardly wait to show off.  Other than the videos here, very few people ever see my beds because they’re in the back yard, surrounded by a privacy fence.  They’re my own secret garden.

Yes, I am as excited about that as I would be showing off a quilt.  And, then we’re all going to drive to a large nursery, so there’s no telling what I’ll find to add.  Not much, tho.  My beds are filling up.

Be well and have a great Wednesday.  Lane


Sudie’s quilt scraps, part 1

Okay, so now there’s time for some pictures.  Not sure how there’s time, but there is.  Somehow, I managed to do all the things I needed to do this morning.

So, let's dig into Sudie's quilt scraps.  My friend LD went on a roadtrip to visit a friend recently and  came back with this box of quilt scraps that her friend had sent to me.  At this point, I don't know who Sudie is and I don't know how long she quilted.  There are some things in the box that I recognize and know are from the 30's through the 70's. 

The box contained several pieces of fabric that are large enough to serge and machine wash. 


So far, this is all I’ve identified as man made fibers.  That green and brown on the bottom reminds me of my Aunt Lucille.  I don't know why.  It's more like something my Grandmother would have worn.  Maybe it's something about the color.


I’ve hit some of the others with the iron already and know they are cottons.  Some have that soft cotton feel and I am confident they are cottons.  Others, I’ll have to check.  But, they’re very colorful and fun.  The big purple flowers in the lower left corner is a flour sack that still had the needle holes in it.  It’s selvages were only about 18 inches apart.


But, that’s not the best of it.  There was pieced work there, too.  There is an almost finished quilt top, a set of appliqued basket blocks and these:


Twelve finished and one in process.  See the one in the lower left and lower right?  The blue petals of the Dresden plate are in different places than all the others.  The unfinished one is the same.  I can't decide if it throws the pattern off or not.  Might have to be one of those odd men to the corners arrangements.


I’m pretty sure this came as a pre-cut kit and a printed, heavy muslin background.  The lines are there to applique the pieces on, and there are lines to show where to quilt.  You can see that the muslin was discolored from being in the cardboard box.  The picture below shows it after some good old Oxy-clean.

Did you notice that all the pastel fabrics are the exact same print?

I can't wait to get a pastel to join them.  I'm thinking orange because it's the only color not represented in the plates.  I’m going to do something to reinforce the stitching.  Not that any of them are coming apart, but they could use a little "smoothing out" with a colored thread (not black, green maybe) and some blanket stitching. 

That’s just one of the lovelies that came out of the box marked “Sudie’s quilt scraps”.  I hope to know more about Sudie soon. 

Be well and have a great Tuesday.  We're almost done with our project at work.  Yay!!! 



Sewing for stress relief

I woke up this morning, knowing my weekend was over and that I had to return to work.  But, wanting to relive the whole weekend in my mind.  I was very confused at first, trying to reconcile the peacefulness of the weekend with the first day of a new and stressful work week.  I hate that I couldn't remember every second of the weekend, but in those few minutes between waking and having to rise, I went through every moment I could remember and smiled at how delightful it was. 

On Friday, we had a small family crisis, which Rob handled extremely well.  And, having done such a wonderful job of it, he was definitely in line for big rewards on Father's Day.  But, the rest of our weekend was kind of spent in shell shock and by this morning, felt sort of unreal and distant. 

Saturday, we were shooting for the feeling of normal, so I got up and started to sew and got those last two Linus quilts bound.  After that, we ran errands in the morning and had lunch out.  I dropped off the Linus quilts; one infant, one juvenile, four teen size.  After that, a trip to JoAnn's was in order and I picked up thread and found some $2 per yard fabric for another shirt.  I think I'm trying to collect all the shirt fabrics out there, but I don't know when I'm actually going to sit and sew all these shirts.  Anyway, what's one more, right? 

And, if I don't, there's enough fabric for a good sized quilt back.

After lunch, we got back home and it was hot as the 7th gate of hell (not the 9th gate that it will be in August, but the 7th gate that it can be in June, when the humidity is really high).  Anyway, I pulled out a box of quilt fabrics I'd recently been gifted and I started to sort and wash and edge.  I spent about 4 hours playing.  I serged everything that could be washed in the machine, cutting off the juts and points from garment making scraps.  And, I pulled out the little scraps to hand wash.  I hand washed in Oxyclean to get out age stains and the damage done by the cardboard box it had been stored in.  I washed and I washed and I washed.  It was too late to set up the clothesline.  If I'd thought about it, I would have waited until the next morning when I could hang it all out, but I didn't, so I hung it over the top of every door, cabinet door, towel rod, and drawer handle in the house and by the next morning, it was all dry and ready to iron.  Oops, didn't think of that.  All that ironing...

I don't know anything about this box yet, except it said "Sudie's quilt scraps" on the outside.  I'll be asking about it today and figuring out who I need to send the thank you card to, because it was full of lovely, lovely, lovely, loveliness that you are going to drool over.  When I can get pictures up here. 

Anyway, that was very stress relieving fun, even laundering it all and folding several yards of new to me vintage fabrics.  Some of these are old enough to be 36" from selvage to selvage, which I haven't seen in many years on commercially woven fabrics.  And, they're heavy cottons and several are prints that I've seen recreated in the 30's repro fabrics that we can buy now.  I even found a flour sack print with big purple flowers on it.

Sunday morning, I decided I was ready to start my new kitchen curtains.  So, I pulled out my very vintage pattern and figured out what I was going to do and I started cutting and I worked on that almost all day long, finishing up after supper last night.  Funny thing about vintage patterns.  You have to be careful.  All the curtain pattern pieces were there, uncut and factory folded, but the instructions were for a shirt.  So, I had to fall back on all my sewing skills to figure it out.

We took Rob shopping and picked up a couple of things for our upcoming vacation and had a big lunch out, with all the other folks honoring the Fathers.  Sydney made him a pie that came out so dense and rich that we could barely eat it...one of those decadent things that is so sweet it makes your teeth hurt and while you're eating it, you're thinking 'I don't want any more', but you just keep going and going because you can't really stop until it's all gone...but tomorrow, you'll try to remember to ask for a smaller piece. 

At some point, I got so busy, I lost track of the day and suddenly it was evening again and I hadn't done any cleaning or watering.  But, it was a blissful and stress free weekend after such a stressful week as the last one was.

This morning, I started working on things I should have been doing all weekend.  I spent my quilting time cleaning up the sewing room and after I walked the dog, I watered the flower pots in my garden and after that and making breakfast, I had to rush to the office and didn't have a spare moment to upload a post with any pictures.  And any time I did have for blogging,  I spent wiping up and clearing away the detritus that had collected all over the place while I wasn't watching. 

So, today, you'll have to content yourself with the promise of pictures of some beautiful vintage quilting objects and a new set of curtains, and this quickly written post about how important it is to recharge after the hectic blast that every day life can become.  I'm proud of both Rob and I for handling our situation as well as we did and glad that we've reached that point where we can both just retreat and wait until we're in a better frame of mind to handle life's little crises.  And, I'm glad that I have somebody to weather the storms with. 

Be well.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend, without the need to use it to de-stress.  And, I hope it's cooler where you are, because we're dancing around the hundred degree mark every day, with no rain in the forecast, cursing all those times I said

Rain, rain, go away;
Little Lane-y wants to play.


Simple pleasures

There is nothing more simple than a bran muffin.

I am their biggest fan.

And, I get a good one from the local grocery, but they are expensive as all get-out, so I prefer to bake my own.  The store ones are also twice as large as mine and only half as…effective.


Anyway, I found the recipe before my MIL’s visit this year.  I was searching for diabetic bran muffin recipes.  I am sorry I didn’t write down my resource, but I didn’t.  And the best I can do now is admit that the original recipe is not my own.

  • 1C bran cereal (preferably not flakes)
  • 1C whole wheat flour
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1egg
  • 1C buttermilk
  • 1/4C splenda
  • 1/4C applesauce
  • 1/3C oil
  • 1/2t vanilla
  1. combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  2. stir the bran cereal into the buttermilk and let stand 5 minutes
  3. add the remaining ingredients to the bran and milk mixture. 
  4. Stir in the flour mixture
  5. fill 12 greased muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  If there is extra, add it to the 12 as these don’t rise very high.

That is a good muffin.  But, it’s kind of dry and not very sweet.  So, first I added a handful of golden raisins and some chopped pecans.  That made a much sweeter muffin, and it wasn’t as dry, but it could be better.  And, we prefer to use real sugar. 

My second attempt was after my MIL had left, so I substituted sugar for the splenda, increasing the amount to 1/2 cup and added a smidge of cinnamon.  That was even better.  But, it could still be better.

My latest couple of attempts, I added chopped dried cranberries instead of raisins, left out the pecans, and substituted orange extract for the vanilla.  That was the best so far.

But, Rob says it can be better still if I add one more ingredient.  It needs walnuts.  So, my next batch will have that. 

I’ve made these several times and can offer these substitutions.

  • If you don’t want to use the applesauce, increase the oil to 1/2 cup.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a 1C measuring cup and fill the rest with regular milk.  Let that set a couple of minutes.  It’s actually an interesting substitution and may have made the muffins a bit lighter.

One of Sydney’s chores yesterday was to get a picture of a gold daylily and a green daylily in the same shot to show the difference in color.



Hey, not every chore has to be a Cinderella chore.  Some chores should be fun.  So, I try to give her some of the fun stuff that I don’t get to before I leave in the mornings. 

Plus the vaccuming, sweeping, mopping, dishes, windows, feed the chickens, milk the cows, hoe the back forty, curry the horses, cut the wheat, pick the corn, bake bread on Monday, laundry on Tuesday…you know, the regular chores that I ask her to do once in a while.

Be well.  Have a great Friday.  I think I will be able to finish those two quilts and take 6 large quilts to Linus this weekend.  I found some unfinished quilting on one and knocked that out and pinned the foldover binding on the other one and I think I could knock all that out in time to get them laundered in time to turn in.

Nothing like a goal, eh?  And, every little distraction from work counts.



In the good old summer time…

Boy, is it hot around here.  I’m sure it feels hotter than it really is because we’re not used to it yet.  But, between the heat and the humidity, I come home from work and just collapse.  No energy to even move.  And, by the time I’ve cooked supper and washed dishes, I can barely pay attention.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve re-instituted sandwich night.  That one night a week, there are no dishes and no cleanup.  And, that makes me happy. 

There’s not much going on quilt-wise right now.  I’ve got a Linus ready to quilt and two ready to bind and my hexie project and that’s about it for right now.  I faithfully spend all the time I can on the hexie project, even working on it while I waited for Syd at the dentist yesterday.  I’ve learned that people don’t even give the guy sewing a second glance and that’s giving me confidence to bring my sewing out in public even more. 

Linus put out a call for large quilts yesterday and I need to get the two that are quilted bound and turned in this weekend.  If I can.  If not, I’ll take them the large ones that are finished.  I hate that I am so slow, and at the same time, I’m proud that I try, so that’s always a glass half full for me.

We had a problem at home a couple of days ago.  I found evidence of something just like Sydney would do and I accused her.  No yelling, just two opportunities to confess and some dead time between during which we didn’t even acknowledge one another, except where we had to.  Sydney’s replies were the same ones she’s given when she’s been proven guilty.  Unfortunately, based on history, there was pretty damning evidence that she was going to have a miserable summer. 

The next day, Rob and I did a full investigation and the result is; we don’t think she did it.  That meant coming home and apologizing for having the kind of relationship where I would accuse without a full investigation and reminding her that her history lead to that.  And, letting her off the hook, while still teaching her that she controls how much we trust her. 

She cried when I apologized.  Rob asked why and I told him what she told me; something sad happened on one of her tv shows that day.  But, she’s not fooling me.  She was relieved. 

I think she learned a lesson.  I hope I learned a lesson.  But, the things I’m most proud of are 1) I didn’t totally go off on her and start handing out punishments before the investigation and 2) I’m big enough to apologize when I’m in the wrong.  I think that’s going to be important when she’s older.  I’m hoping that she sees that apologizing is an okay thing for people to do and making mistakes is okay, too and the less far you go crazy, the less bad you look when you’re wrong.  There’s a saying I use in my apologies sometimes, “seems the wronger I am, the louder I get.”

I also saw that it’s only going to get harder from here because she’s learning to argue, better and better, and the more experienced she gets at it, the more careful I’m going to have to be open to that.  Because I am many things, but perfect ain’t ever gonna be one. 

Yesterday was clouded in the shame of being wrong (unjustified, I know) but today the pride of being a good parent shines on my day.  Unfortunately, now I have to go to that stress hell that my job has become for the next couple of weeks.  Somebody, please pass the Xanax.  I really need to slip one to my boss.

Be well and have a great Thursday.  Lane


How big can you go

Okay, so most quilters want to see how small they can make their pieces.  But, if I want to quilt for myself and keep my commitment to Linus, I need to go big or give up.

This is what happens when you make a log cabin out of 4 inch cut strips. 


First, you only need six blocks.  (Yay!)  Second, the contrast between dark and light becomes even more important.  I have trouble with medium.  Next time, I might try to use medium on the most outer strips.  They don’t work well in the innermost strips. 

But, it’s pieced and pressed and ready to be basted and I don’t think I worked on it more than 4 hours, including cutting the strips.

I have enough strips to make a second one.  I get another chance to get it just right. 

And, then I have one cut in two inch widths for the neighbors.  I’m glad I didn’t start with that one. 

I still don’t like the homespuns.  I’m spoilt.  Spoilt rotten to crisp, slightly stiff fabrics and I just cannot make homespuns behave that way.  So, now I have another group of people to admire…those that use homespuns in the most wonderful ways.  We all see their quilts.  And, I for one have thought “how quaint”.  Well, it ain’t so, y’all.  It’s hard work to do that. 

For me, I’ll be glad when that bin is empty. 

Be well and have a great Tuesday.  BTW, I did get invited to join the bee.  But, we’re going to be on vacation for the July meeting. 

I wonder if my house sitter would mind taking quilts to bee for show and tell?



My first quilt bee meeting

I’ve hosted bees before.  A group from work decided to hand quilt a baby quilt for a co-worker and the first couple of quilting bees were at my house and a few people showed up and we quilted and laughed, and after a couple of meetings, they wanted to meet at a more central place, so we moved to an empty office at work.  Sans all my home made goodies and snacks.

But, this was my first ongoing, organized bee meeting.  There were about a dozen ladies that showed up and me.  I brought hand work and a few others did as well.  But, most folks were on their machines.  We met for four hours on Saturday and the bee doesn’t have a main project or anything they’re working on.  Everybody brings they’re own project and they sit and talk and sew and sew and talk and eat and drink coffee and tea and sew and talk. 

After I got there and knew better what to expect, I wished I’d taken something on the machine so I could show more progress, but that’s okay.  I didn’t get much done and I had trouble with the thread I took trying to knot up and break on me.  But, I did accomplish some things and I got the chance to show off my quilts that ribboned in the show last year and it seemed that everyone had a great time.  I left feeling like I talked more than I sewed.

My only disappointment is that I haven’t been invited back next month.  I’m going to mention that in my thank you email to the host and see if I can get invited back.  It seemed like a group I’d fit into well.  A very eclectic mix of people. 

One lady brought her tan featherweight.  It’s the first one I’d seen first hand.  What a rare beauty.

While I was at the bee, Rob and Syd took the dogs to the vet and ran errands and did stuff that dad’s and daughters need to do to keep up with life, including having lunch together, and when I got home, I was fired up to sew. 

I spent a lot of time working on my little hexie project. 


I got the first neutral border all the way around the center and two border sections pieced.  Around and around and around I will go and where I stop, nobody knows. 

I have at least the next two borders planned out in my mind.  Of course, Bonnie’s been working on hers on the flight to Ireland, so there’s no telling what progress she’s made that I’ll want to incorporate. 

Yesterday, I spent the wee hours of the morning in the sunroom, listening to book and sewing.  Later, as the sun came up, it was garden chores and then shopping and a Goodwill dropoff…no nothing from the sewing room, but a good sized load of stuff we don’t need anymore.  After that, I made a casserole and a key lime pie and some bran muffins. 

One day, I’ll write an ode to my bran muffin recipe.  I’ve been perfecting one and am very happy to have bran muffins on a regular basis.  As is my colon.

I enjoyed being involved last week; both in guild and bee.  And, I hope to keep my momentum up and join in more.  I’ve noticed that Sydney doesn’t have any plans to get out and be with any friends this summer.  When she came to live with us, we pulled inward and taught her what it was like to be part of a family.  But, now it’s time to teach her another lesson; how to be part of a community.  And, the only way I can teach that is to do that. 

So, here’s to being involved and spending more time outside my sewing room. 

Be well.  Have a great Monday.  Lane


The reason there are no pictures...

Okay, there would have been a really good blog post today (I'm sure) if I'd just had time. 

But, you see, Sydney and I bought new shoes and they came in the mail yesterday. 

Hers are perfect for her.

I decided this morning that I wanted to change the laces to the alternate gray laces that came with the shoes.  That took 10 minutes.  I don't replace the laces in shoes very often.  Obviously.  And to get them to look like they're supposed to takes thought.  And, if I don't do them like I'm supposed to, Sydney points and laughs.

So, after I got them laced up and put them on and tied them, I realized that they're too small.  They are my size number.  I've double checked that.  But, they're too short.  I'm starting to think that the manufacturers are playing the same trick with shoes that they played recently with men's underwear; change the size to trick men into feeling better about themselves.

It goes this way;

Size Large underwear used to include my waist size (number omitted here due to it's nobody's business unless you're going to buy me some underwear).  Then, suddenly, I bought new underwear and could barely tuck all the extra fabric into my trousers.  In the time it took for my elastic to lose it's spring, they'd changed the size.  And, now my waist size fits in size Medium.  Don't get me wrong.  It does make me feel better to be a size medium than it does to be a size large.  Mostly because I wore a size medium when I graduated high school and it feels good to be a medium again.  But, it's a lie because my waist size is nothing, if not larger than it was when I was 18. 

Of course, just because it made me feel better doesn't mean that's why they changed the sizes.  It could be because they ran out of space to put extra X's before the large; x-large, xx-large, xxx-large, xxxx-large, 5x, 6x... 

So, now it looks like they're doing the same thing with shoes; making me feel like I have bigger feet.  Because we all know what big feet and big hands means...

big shoes and big gloves.

I hope everyone has a great Friday.  This little bit of silliness is brought to you by my very good mood.  I will be attending the quilt bee tomorrow.  I am excited, but I also know that tomorrow morning, when I'm packing stuff up and pondering leaving my comfy sewing room, I'm going to have second thoughts.  I am so old and sot in my ways.

Tip for successful parenting.  Your kid cannot say they didn't find the list of chores you left them if you text them the list.  Ask me how I know.



The garden and the brown hexies

Okay, so this is what I had in my head.


Except this photo looks very washed out.  The quilt is much more vibrant.  I’ll take a next pic on a different background.

It just wasn’t speaking to me.  I laid it out a couple days ago and just looked at it and replaced neutral hexies until I got the consistency I wanted.  But, it didn’t say anything.

This morning, I decided to change it.


Now, it speaks to me. 

Just that little bit of a reversal was all it took.

Rob took another video of the garden the other day.  Another three and a half minute walk through, to see what started blooming. 

This was a week and a half ago and of course, it looks completely different now.  We had a limb cut from the tree in the back yard and my shade garden has suddenly gone to part sun.  Fingers crossed that all works out.

Have a great Thursday.  I woke up thinking it was Friday and was so disappointed when the news announced the day and date. 

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can focus on work, because I’m in a really creative time, and my mind keeps drifting to quilting. 

Or maybe it’s that things are so stressful at work right now, I have to escape to happy thoughts about quilting.